As reported last week, the total number of agricultural tractors (50hp+) registered for road use in the UK last year increased by 13.5% to 12,033. The AEA has now broken the registrations down by power band and region. As has been apparent all year, most of the growth in 2017 tractor registrations came in the middle of the power range, with more than two-thirds of the additional machines being between 140 and 200hp (around 2,250 141-160hp and approx. 2,500 units 161-200hp).

There was also further growth in the high-power end of the market but only a modest increase for lower-powered machines, between 50 and 140hp. There was good growth in the number of tractors below 50hp (not included in the total figure) where registrations were up 22% to 1,735. Average power of tractors over 50hp registered during 2017 rose to 162.2hp, up from 158.3hp in 2016, and the total power sold exceeded two million hp for the first time since 2012, when machines below 50hp were included.

Figures on the regional distribution of tractor registrations show fairly consistent growth across most of the English regions. With the exception of the small Home Counties/London and North East regions, all parts of England saw increases of between 12% and 22%, with no obvious bias towards livestock or arable regions.

Outside England it was a more mixed picture, with growth in Scotland, albeit slower than in England at 10%, little change in Northern Ireland and a small decline in Welsh registrations. The AEA says this may reflect the importance of grazing livestock farming in these parts of the UK and the greater uncertainty faced by this sector after Brexit, particularly for sheep farmers.